The Ash'ari Clinic: 2nd Case Study of 'Ash'ari Burnout' - Concerning Ibn Hajr, Imaam Bukhaaree, The Kullaabiyyah and the Pronunciation of the Qur'an
Posted by Abu.Iyaad on Wednesday, October, 28 2009 and filed under The Clinic
Key topics: The Clinic Ash'ari Burnout The Clinic Ash'ari Burnout

We are pleased to present our second case study of "Ash'ari Burnout". To learn more please see this page. "Ash'ari Burnout" is a phenomenon arising when the inability to satisfactorily resolve and come to terms with certain (historical) facts and information results firstly in "psychological denial" which disturbs the mental constitution, then denial of the denial secondly, and then finally, barely comprehensible, illogical, irrational "outbursts" taking place mainly on blogs and forums. Our first case (see here) was met with good acceptance, and readers have expressed their eagerness to read further cases. Today's case is a bit more complicated.

Case Involving Ibn Hajr al-Asqalani's Comments Regarding Imaam al-Bukhaaree and the Kullaabiyyah

First let us document the symptoms that manifested in the "intellectual dump" of the victim:

Case Diagnosis, Notes and Comments

Compound Ignorance Is the Fabric of That Delusion Which Lies Behind Much of "Ash'ari Burnout"

We have mentioned repeatedly - and will continue to mention repeatedly until it sinks into the heads of today's deluded (Jahmite) Ash'aris - that the foundation of the deen of the Mutakallimoon (people of Kalaam, the Jahmiyyah, Mu'tazilah, Kullabiyyah, Ash'ariyyah, Maturidiyyah) is based around an intellectual proof called "hudooth ul-ajsaam" which is based generally around language and terminology derived from Aristotle's "al-Maqoolaat al-Ashar", or "the Ten Categories" - which aims to provide a framework for characterizing all bodies (ajsaam) in observable existence. Read more about that here. This proof argues for the createdness of the universe based upon the presence of qualities (sifaat), incidental attributes (a'raad) and actions (what they call hawaadith, events or occurrences) in bodies. The presence of these things in bodies indicate (to the Mutakallimoon) that the bodies (ajsaam) themselves are events (hawaadith, i.e. came to be after not being) and events cannot be infinite in the past - and from this the presence of a creator is deduced, and then following on from this, the possibility and likelihood of prophethood and resurrection. This proof is a vile, corrupt, false proof, and it is the utmost falsehood because it actually proves the opposite of what they set out to use it for. As a result of it, they were forced to deny, to varying degrees, what Allaah has affirmed for Himself in order not to invalidate this proof - which they wrongly believed to be something upon which the veracity and truthfulness of the very religion of Islaam depended upon.

As we said in the previous case, most, if not all cases of "Ash'ari Burnout" occur within the context of complete and compound ignorance of what actually instigated the Mutakallimoon - [people of theological speculation using the metaphysical classification and terminology of the atheist philophers] - to the compelling need to deny Allaah's Names, Attributes and Actions, which is this very intellectual proof called "hudooth ul-ajsaam". The Jahmiyyah (Jahm bin Safwaan, ex. 128H) and Mu'tazilah (Abu al-Hudhayl al-Allaaf, d. 235H) were the pioneers of this proof, and the Ash'aris were just the blind-followers, they did not originate it, they "borrowed" it. It was the Mu'tazilah who incorporated "Atomism" into the crude version of "hudooth ul-ajsaam" of the Jahmiyyah to allow them to better argue for the whole universe being created, and the Ash'aris acquired all of this and simply made refinements to this intellectual proof, differing with the Mu'tazilah in subsidiary details - al-Baqillani (d. 403H) being the first to codify it and formalize it in his book "at-Tamheed".

See this article for more details on this subject:

So all deluded As'hari burnout victims suffer from an underlying condition which is compound ignorance. Whenever they speak on a matter, this compound ignorance is always the background fabric to their delusion and psychological illness.

Analysis of the Victim's "Burnout"

This burnout took place in response to an article of ours in which we quoted ash-Shahrastani (an Ash'ari of the 6th century hijrah) corroborating that Abu al-Hasan al-Ash'ari took the bulk of the creed of the speculative theologian, Ibn Kullaab (d. 240H) who preceded al-Ash'ari in refuting the Mu'tazilah. We have also covered elsewhere that the creed of Ibn Kullaab was to affirm the Names and Attributes (inclusive of the sifaat dhaatiyyah, such as Face, Hands, Eyes etc.) but to reject those attributes tied to Allaah's will and power, the Sifaat Fi'liyyah - since in the view of the Kullaabites, these attributes invalidated the intellectual proof of "hudooth ul-ajsaam" and would have signified change (taghayyur) in Allaah - and that this creed was basically that of the Early Ash'aris.

The Later Ash'aris, from al-Juwaynee (d. 478H) onwards reverted back to many of the views of the Mu'tazilah and Jahmiyyah, they rejected the sifaat dhaatiyyah that the Early Ash'aris affirmed and utilized the very ta'weels of the Jahmiyyah and Mu'tazilah that the Early Ash'aris refuted! Go and take a look at this article for an illustration.

In light of the quote from ash-Shahrastani, the victim attempted to portray Ibn Kullaab (and his followers) to be within the ranks of Ahl us-Sunnah, seeing that the real and true origin of Abu al-Hasan al-Ash'aris creed was bought to light. As part of this attempt the victim brought the above statement of Ibn Hajr al-Asqalani. So what the the victim is attempting by his outburst above can be summarized as follows:

Al-Ash'ari took his creed from Ibn Kullaab. Imaam al-Bukhaaree took from Ibn Kullaab according to Ibn Hajr. Therefore, the Ash'ari creed must be the absolute truth.

This is clearly an attempt to defend al-Ash'aris adoption of the bulk of the creed of Ibn Kullaab through this statement of Ibn Hajr al-Asqalani, and through this, to argue for the creed of the later (Jahmite) Ash'aris which constitute all of todays Ash'aris.

Ibn Kullaab and The Kullaabiyyah on the Qur'an

Ibn Kullaab and his followers were from the Ahl ul-Kalam that were condemned by the leading Imaams of the Salaf, such as Imaam Ahmad (rahimahullaah). This is because these Imaams of the Salaf knew their speech was directed towards rejecting Allaah's actions that are tied to His will and power, amongst which was "Kalaam" (speech) since Ahl us-Sunnah held that Allaah speaks as He wills when he wills, however He wills. The Kullaabiyyah, denying that Allaah speaks according to His will and power, were saying that Allaah's speech is just the "Kalaam Nafsee" and that this Qur'aan we have with us is just a "quotation" (hikaayah) of that "Kalaam Nafsee" and is created. The Ash'aris came along after and said the "Kalaam Nafsee" is a singular, indivisible meaning (ma'naa waahid) with the Self of Allaah and it is uncreated, but that this Qur'an we have with us, recited, heard, memorized, in letter and word, is created. The ancestors of the Ash'aris in this saying were none other than the Kullaabiyyah, the likes of Haarith al-Muhasibi and Hussain al-Karaabeesee, who were the "Lafdhiyyah".

It was these people (the Kullaabiyyah) who started saying "My recitation of the Qur'an is created", and their intent was to arrive at the saying that the Qur'an is created - following on from their rejection of Allaah's actions tied to His will and power, meaning that Allaah does not speak with His will and power - as this would entail hawaadith (events, occurrences) with Allaah's Essence according to them, which are proof of something being a body (jism) according to the Ten Categories of Aristotle (al-Maqoolaat al-Ashar).

Between Imaam Ahmad and Imaam al-Bukhaaree

Both Imaam Ahmad and Imaam al-Bukharee were upon the same creed and they both refuted two different types of factions.

Imaam Ahmad refuted those Ahl ul-Kalaam who held the Qu'ran to be created - because Allaah speaking according to His will and power would mean Allaah is a jism (body) according to them - since instances of speech that are other than each other are hawaadith (events, occurrences) and this is proof of something being a body (jism), according to Aristotle's Ten Categories, thus this has to be rejected. These innovators then moved to the statement, "My recitation of the Qur'an is created" and they intended by this to reach their saying that the Qur'an itself is created. So Imaam Ahmad declared the Lafdhiyyah (those saying this statement) to be Jahmites, and likewise he declared anyone who said, "My recitation of the Qur'an is not created" to be Innovators - since neither of these statements are from the Salaf and each of these two statements lead to what is falsehood.

However, some people wrongly thought that when the likes of Imaam Ahmad said, "Whoever says 'My recitation of the Qur'an is created' is a Jahmee" that the actual voices of the servants, when reciting the Qur'an are not created and are eternal and others exaggerated and extended this to even the ink and the paper upon which the Qur'an was written. This opened up the door to the saying that the actions of the servants are uncreated (i.e. their reciting of the Qur'an)

So Imaam al-Bukhaaree stood to refute this faction and this is why he authored the book "Khalq Af'aal il-Ibaad" (the Creation of the Servants' Actions). Thus he established that the Qur'an is the uncreated Speech of Allaah, and that when the servants recite the Qur'an, then their voices and actions are created and are not eternal, whilst that which is recited (Allaah's words) is uncreated, and in doing so he refuted those who claimed that their voices (and the ink and paper) are eternal and uncreated.

So Imaam Ahmad was refuting one particular faction and Imaam al-Bukharee was refuting another faction - and both of their views concerning the Qur'an were in agreement with each other.

Ibn Hajr al-Asqalani explains in Fath ul-Bari in "Kitaab ut-Tawheed", the chapter on "Do Not Set Up Rivals for Allaah":

وقال غيره ظن بعضهم أن البخاري خالف أحمد وليس كذلك بل من تدبر كلامه لم يجد فيه خلافا معنويا، لكن العالم من شأنه إذا ابتلى في رد بدعة يكون أكثر كلامه في ردها دون ما يقابلها، فلما ابتلى أحمد بمن يقول القرآن مخلوق كان أكثر كلامه في الرد عليهم حتى بالغ فأنكر على من يقف ولا يقول مخلوق ولا غير مخلوق، وعلى من قال لفظي بالقرآن مخلوق لئلا يتدرع بذلك من يقول القرآن بلفظي مخلوق، مع أن الفرق بينهما لا يخفى عليه لكنه قد يخفى على البعض، وأما البخاري فابتلى بمن يقول أصوات العباد غير مخلوقة حتى بالغ بعضهم فقال والمداد والورق بعد الكتابة، فكان أكثر كلامه في الرد عليهم وبالغ في الاستدلال بأن أفعال العباد مخلوقة بالآيات والأحاديث، وأطنب في ذلك حتى نسب إلى أنه من اللفظية مع أن قول من قال إن الذي يسمع من القارئ هو الصوت القديم لا يعرف عن السلف، ولا قاله أحمد ولا أئمة أصحابه، وإنما سبب نسبة ذلك لأحمد قوله من قال لفظي بالقرآن مخلوق فهو جهمي، فظنوا أنه سوى بين اللفظ والصوت، ولم ينقل عن أحمد في الصوت ما نقل عنه في اللفظ بل صرح في مواضع بأن الصوت المسموع من القارئ هو صوت القارئ، ويؤيده حديث زينوا القرآن بأصواتكم وسيأتي قريبا، والفرق بينهما أن اللفظ يضاف إلى المتكلم به ابتداء، فيقال عمن روى الحديث بلفظه، هذا لفظه ولمن رواه بغير لفظه هذا معناه ولفظه كذا، ولا يقال في شيء من ذلك هذا صوته فالقرآن كلام الله لفظه ومعناه ليس هو كلام غيره

Which translates as:

And [one] other than him (meaning other than al-Bayhaqi) said [that] some of them thought al-Bukhaaree opposed Ahmad, and [the affair] is not like that. Rather, whoever reflects upon his speech will not find any difference in meaning. But the affair of the scholar is such that when he is put to trial in refuting an innovation, most of his speech is [focused] on refuting it [specifically] as opposed to its opposing [counterpart].

So when Ahmad was put to trial with those who said "The Qur'an is created", most of his speech was in refutation of them, until he exaggerated in that regard and showed rejection against anyone who withheld, neither saying "[The Qur'an is] created", and nor saying, "[The Qur'an is] not created", and likewise, [Ahmad showed rejection] against the one who said, "My pronunciation of the Qur'an is created", so that the one who said, "The Qur'an, with my pronunciation, is created" could not use it as armour [protection, for the saying that the Qur'an is created] - whilst the difference between these two sayings was not hidden from him [Ahmad]. However, [the difference] may be hidden from some [other people].

As for al-Bukhaaree, then he was put to trial with those who said that the voices of the servants [in reciting the Qur'an] are not created, until some of them exaggerated and said that the ink and paper, after the writing [is uncreated too]. So most of his speech was in refutation of them and he exaggerated (i.e. went to great lengths) in providing evidence that the actions of the servants are created from verses and ahaadeeth, and he was excessive in doing so until it was ascribed to him that he was from the "Lafdhiyyah" (those who said that their recitation of the Qur'an was created).

Alongside [the fact] that the saying of whoever said, "That which is heard from the reciter is the eternal voice" is not known from the Salaf and Ahmad and nor anyone from the leading Imaams from his companions said it. The reason for that being attributed to Ahmad was his saying, "Whoever said my pronunciation of the Qur'an is created is a Jahmee". So they thought that he equated between the lafdh (wording, pronunciation) and the sawt (voice).

And what has been quoted from Ahmad regarding the lafdh (pronunciation of the wording) has not been quoted regarding the sawt (voice). Rather, he has stated explicitly in places that the voice heard from the recitor is the voice of the recitor, and it is supported by the hadeeth, "Beautify the Qur'an with your voices", and it will come shortly [in this chapter]. And the difference between them is that the wording (al-lafdh) is ascribed to the one speaking with it initially. So it is said regarding the one who reported a hadeeth with its wording, "This is its wording (lafdhahu)", and [it is said] regarding the one who reported the hadeeth with other than its wording, "This is its meaning (ma'naa) and its wording (lafdh) is such and such". And in all of that, it is not said about anything that "This is its voice (sawt)". So the Qur'an, is the speech of Allaah, its wording (lafdh) and its meaning (ma'naa), it is not the speech of other than Him.

Ibn Hajr also said, just after the above:

ومحصل ما نقل عن أهل الكلام في هذه المسألة خمسة أقوال، الأول‏:‏ قول المعتزلة أنه مخلوق، والثاني‏:‏ قول الكلابية أنه قديم قائم بذات الرب ليس بحروف ولا أصوات، والموجود بين الناس عبارة عنه لا عينه، والثالث‏:‏ قول السالمية أنه حروف وأصوات قديمة الأعين، وهو عين هذه الحروف المكتوبة والأصوات المسموعة، والرابع‏:‏ قول الكرامية أنه محدث لا مخلوق، وسيأتي بسط القول فيه في الباب الذي بعده، والخامس‏:‏ أنه كلام الله غير مخلوق، أنه لم يزل يتكلم إذا شاء، نص على ذلك أحمد في كتاب الرد على الجهمية، وافترق أصحابه فرقتين‏:‏ منهم من قال هو لازم لذاته والحروف والأصوات مقترنة لا متعاقبة ويسمع كلامه من شاء، أكثرهم قالوا إنه متكلم بما شاء متى شاء، وأنه نادى موسى عليه السلام حين كلمه ولم يكن ناداه من قبل، والذي استقر عليه قول الأشعرية أن القرآن كلام الله غير مخلوق، مكتوب في المصاحف محفوظ في الصدور مقروء بالألسنة، قال الله تعالى ‏(‏فأجره حتى يسمع كلام الله‏)‏ ‏.‏

وقال تعالى ‏(‏بل هو آيات بينات في صدور الذين أوتوا العلم‏)‏ وفي الحديث المتفق عليه عن ابن عمر كما تقدم في الجهاد ‏"‏ لا تسافروا بالقرآن إلى أرض العدو، كراهية أن يناله العدو ‏"‏ وليس المراد ما في الصدور بل ما في الصحف، وأجمع السلف على أن الذي بين الدفتين كلام الله‏.‏

Which translates as:

And the result of what has been quoted from the people of Kalaam on this matter is five sayings:

The first: The saying of the Mu'tazilah, that it is created.

The second: The saying of the Kullaabiyyah that it is eternal with the essence of the Lord, it is not letters and voices, and that which is present amongst the people [the Qur'an] is an expression (ibaarah) of it, and not the actual thing itself.

This is correct except that the Kullaabiyyah said it is a quotation (hikaayah) and not an expression (ibaarah). The latter is the view of Abu al-Hasan al-Ash'ari who did not like the use of the word quotation (hikaayah) because it implied that what we have with us (in letter and word), if it is quoted, is exactly the same as what is with Allaah, and this would imply letter and word and would imply divisibility with Allah and other meanings that would not conform to the requirements of the intellectual proof of hudooth ul-ajsaam. So he changed it to expression (ibaarah) because this allows for it to be understood that it is different to what is with Allaah, whereas "quotation" (hikaayah) implies it is the same. This second saying that Ibn Hajr has mentioned here is the very saying of the Ash'aris.

Ibn Hajr continues:

The third: The saying of the Saalimiyyah that it is letters and voices, and [that these very letters and voices] are eternal, and that it [the Qur'an] is these very written letters and heard voices.

The fourth: The saying of the Karraamiyyah that it is Muhdath (occurred after not occurring) but not created, and more detailed speech regarding it will come regarding this in the chapter that is after this.

The fifth: That it is the speech of Allaah, uncreated, that He has not ceased to be one who speaks when He wills. Ahmad textually stated this in the book "ar-Radd alal-Jahmiyyah", and his associates split into two factions: Amongst them are those who said that it (the Qur'an) is inherent, imperative to His essence, and that the letters and voices are simultaneous and not successive, and that He causes whomever He wills to hear His speech. But the majority of them (associates of Ahmad) said that He is one who speaks (mutakallim) with whatever He wills, whenever He wills and that He called out to Moses (alayhis salaam) when He spoke to him, and had not called out to him previously.

Immediately after this, Ibn Hajr says something surprising:

And that which the saying of the Ash'ariyyah became established upon is that the Qur'an is the speech of Allaah, uncreated, written in the masaahif (copies of the Qur'an), memorized in the hearts, recited with the tongues.

This is clearly incorrect and a mistake from Ibn Hajr, the Ash'ariyyah do not hold that, unless Ibn Hajr is speaking of a small, isolated, rare faction amongst the Ash'aris. The saying of the Ash'ariyyah is the saying of Ibn Kullaab that Ibn Hajr has already pointed out above.

Ibn Hajr continues:

Allaah, the Most High, said: "...then grant him protection, so that he may hear the Word of Allah (the Qur'an)..." (At-Tawbah 9:6)

And the Most High said: "Nay, but they, the clear signs (verses) are preserved in the breasts of those who have been given knowledge" (Al-Ankabut 29:49)

And in the agreed upon hadeeth from Ibn Umar, as has preceded in the [chapter on] jihaad, "Do not travel with the Qur'an to the land of the enemy", disliking that the enemy obtain it. And the intent (behind this prohibition in this hadeeth) is not what is [memorized] in the breasts, but rather what is in the mushaf (in case the enemy takes it). And the Salaf are unanimously agreed that that which is in between the two covers is the speech of Allaah.

Here Ibn Hajr is establishing that no matter how the Qur'an is present and found with us, written, memorized, heard (i.e. the words - not the voice, paper and ink) - then it is all the uncreated speech of Allaah - and this is the position of the Salaf, it is not the position of the Mutakallimoon.

To the Kullaabiyyah and Ash'ariyyah, what we have with us, written, memorized and heard is but the quotation (hikaayah) or created expression (ibaarah) of the Qur'an and not the uncreated Qur'an which they believe is the "Kalaam Nafsee" that is eternally present with Allaah's Self.

Summarizing the Above

The intent behind all the above was to point out the major difference in creed between Ahl us-Sunnah and the Kullaabiyyah. Ahl us-Sunnah affirm Allaah has actions tied to His will and power (Sifaat Fi'liyyah) amongst which is speech (Kalaam), and that with respect to this particular attribute, in addition to Allaah being one who speaks (mutakallim) and who has always been as such, then Allaah speaks with His will and power as, when and however He wills - this is denied by the Kullaabiyyah due to their rejection of Allaah having actions tied to His will and power (being followed in that by the Ash'ariyyah).

The Kullaabiyyah tried to tread a middle path between the Mu'tazilah and the people of the Sunnah and so they innovated a new saying which was to distinguish those attributes that are tied to Allaah's will and power from the rest of the attributes, - to reject the former (those tied to His will and power), and to affirm the latter. Thus, they affirmed that Allaah has Face, Hands, Eyes (without ta'weel, tafweed) and affirmed Allaah Himself is above the Throne, adding to that "but not a body (jism)" and affirmed the Names and Attributes such as hearing, seeing, life, knowledge, power and so on, but rejected those attributes that were tied to Allaah's will and power (love, pleasure, anger, istiwaa, Nuzool, speaking when He wills and so on).

Built upon this, we see that the Salaf, at the head of them Imaam Ahmad, scorned the Kullaabiyyah, reviled them and abused them and declared them innovators - because the Salaf knew the origin of their saying and that they said what they said on the basis of that blameworthy ilm ul-kalaam (derived from the philosophies of the atheists such as Aristotle) and they were trying to argue that Allaah does not have actions tied to His will and power because this would mean, to them, hawaadith, and therefore, according to Aristotle's Ten Categories, that He is a body (jism).

Then following on from this we see that the Ash'aris who came later treated Ibn Kullaab as "a great Imaam of Ahl us-Sunnah", and we see this from Ibn Fawrak (d. 406H) and others, as they knew Abu al-Hasan al-Ash'ari took the bulk of the creed from the Kullaabiyyah, and the later ones such as as-Subki and others treated Ibn Kullaab as being within the ranks of Ahl us-Sunnah.

In contrast, the scholars of Ahl us-Sunnah, the leading Imaams such as Imaam Ahmad considered Ibn Kullaab to be in the ranks of the Innovators and amongst Ahl ul-Kalaam, even though he may have been the closest of the Mutakallimeen to the Sunnah. So we find statements from the likes of adh-Dhahabi and others that Ibn Kullaab was the nearest of the Mutakallimeen to the Sunnah.

The following diagram allows us to see things a bit more clearly:

And this shows the angle from which many of the Scholars said that the likes of Ibn Kullaab and Abu al-Hasan al-Ash'ari - prior to the time he held on to the creed of Ahmad bin Hanbal - were the closest of the Mutakallimeen to the Sunnah.

The Saying of Ibn Hajr Explained

With all the above, we can now comment on the quote which the victim brought from Ibn Hajr:

مع أن البخاري في جميع ما يورده من تفسير الغريب إنما ينقله عن أهل ذلك الفن كأبي عبيدة والنضر بن شميل والفراء وغيرهم. وأما المباحث الفقهية فغالبها مستمدة من الشافعي وأبي عبيد وأمثالهما. وأما المسائل الكلامية فأكثرها من الكرابيسي وابن كلاب ونحوهما

Considering that al-Bukhaaree, in all of what he reports of the tafseer of uncommon (ghareeb) [words] quotes from the people of that discipline such as Abee Ubaydah, an-Nadr bin Shamil, and al-Farraa and others besides them. And as for the fiqh studies, the majority of them are derived from [the positions] of ash-Shaafi'ee, Abee Ubayd and their likes. And as for the issues pertaining to Kalaam (i.e. Allaah's Speech, or issues pertaining to belief), then most of them are from al-Karaabeesee, Ibn Kullaab and their likes.

So regarding this, a number of points:

Point 1: We find the likes of Ibn Taymiyyah, adh-Dhahabi and others speaking of Ibn Kullaab in a positive light on occasions, from the angle that he did much to refute the Mu'tazilah and the Jahmiyyah - and this is from the justice of the Salaf. For when biographical accounts are given for the purpose of historical record, then we see the biographers making mention of what certain people had in way of good and in way of refutation of those whose deviation was much.

However, alongside this, and despite Ibn Kullaab being amongst the closest to Ahl us-Sunnah from amongst the Mutakallimeen, Ibn Kullaab rejected the Sifaat Fi'liyyah (actions tied to Allaah's will and power) as did the Jahmiyyah and Mu'tazilah. And he tried to tread a middle ground and ended up in a situation where his sayings outwardly appeared to be the Sunnah, but were in reality the viewpoints of the Mu'tazilah. Examples of this have preceded on the issue of the Qur'an and also Allaah's attributes of pleasure (ridhaa) and anger (ghadab) - see here.

Point 2: The deluded victim thought he could pull a fast one and bring statements that mention good about Ibn Kullaab - and most of these statements are from Ash'aris such as as-Subki and Ibn Qaadee Shuhbah, who say that Ibn Kullaab was from Ahl us-Sunnah - and they have a vested interest in this. Since it is undeniable that al-Ash'ari merely adopted the creed of the Kullaabites he came across in Baghdad who had much in way of refutation of the Mu'tazilah already and that this Kullaabi creed became the early Ash'ari creed. So as this fact has been established, it is of vested interest that Ibn Kullaab and the Kullaabiyyah are portrayed as being from Ahl us-Sunnah, when in reality they were from the factions of Ahl ul-Kalaam just like the Jahmiyyah and Mu'tazilah. The saying of Ahl us-Sunnah, like adh-Dhahabi and others is that Ibn Kullaab, alongside his deviation and indulgence in Kalaam was the closest of the Mutakallimeen (speculative theologians) to the Sunnah.

These Kullaabiyyah rejected that Allaah could be described with anything that is tied to His will and power, and upon that they rejected His Af'aal Ikhtiyaariyyah (actions tied to His will and power), from which is Allaah's Kalaam (speech).

So they concocted the doctrine of "Kalaam Nafsee" to achieve two objectives:

  • To protect that intellectual proof of "hudooth ul-ajsaam" through this doctrine so they could escape from having to affirm "hawaadith" (occurrences) for Allaah - which would be in the form of instances of speech which are all different.

  • To devise a saying that would at the same time, be in agreement with that of Ahl us-Sunnah, at least outwardly - which is the "Kalaam Nafsee" and their claim that this is Allaah's speech that is uncreated, and that what we have is just a quotation of Allaah's speech, and is created.

And the Salaf showed rejection against them, as is clear from Imaam Ahmad's condemnation of the Kullaabites, and Abu Nasr as-Sijzee spoke against Ibn Kullaab and al-Ash'ari for their innovation (Kalaam Nafsee) which no one else before them spoke with - and ash-Shahrastani (6th century hijrah), an Ash'ari, affirms in his book "Nihaayat ul-Aqdaam", that al-Ash'ari (though it was really Ibn Kullaab) broke the ijmaa' that existed, and that he brought a third saying not known of before in the topic of Allaah's Kalaam and the Qur'an - (see that quote in this article).

So the Salaf refuted these people, and they were not considered Ahl us-Sunnah, rather they were considered Ahl ul-Bid'ah, even though they were the closest of the Mutakallimoon in that time, to Ahl us-Sunnah, and the statement that Ibn Kullaab was the closest of the Mutakallimoon to Ahl us-Sunnah does not remove him and his followers from the ranks of Ahl ul-Bid'ah. However, the Ash'aris such as the likes of as-Subki and Ibn Qaadee Shubhah and others, recognizing the true origins of the Ash'arite creed have a vested interest in portraying Ibn Kullaab as being "from Ahl us-Sunnah" for the abovementioned reasons.

Point 3: As for the saying of Ibn Hajr that al-Bukhaaree took the issues of "Kalaam" from Ibn Kullaab, then this is vague, ambiguous statement and we can look at this in a number of ways:

  • Firstly, al-Bukhaaree took the issues of creed from the Book and the Sunnah, as did all the Imaams of the Salaf, and not exclusively from Ibn Kullaab and al-Bukhaaree affirms that Allaah has actions tied to His will (as is evident in Kitaab ut-Tawheed from the Saheeh) in opposition to the Kullaabiyyah - and this is the distinguishing feature of the Kullaabiyyah, to reject Allaah has actions tied to His will and power, and al-Bukhaaree is clearly not upon that.

  • That what Ibn Hajr means is that just as al-Bukhaaree when making tahqeeq of fiqh positions, brings mainly views from the Shaafi'ee madhhab, with a view to making tahqeeq of them through the Book and the Sunnah - and al-Bukhaaree was not a blind-follower - then similarly, when making tahqeeq of specific issues of creed, he brings them in a manner that seem directed at the views of the Kullaabiyyah with a view to making tahqeeq of what is correct.

  • That what Ibn Hajr means is that on the issue of Allaah's Speech (Kalaam) - which are often referred to as "masaa'il kalaamiyyah" (issues pertaining to speech) - that al-Bukhaaree mentions what is mainly from the Kulllaabiyyah - meaning that he is of their view and opinion that "the recitation of the Qur'an is created". But Ibn Hajr, in a number of places in Fath ul-Bari, has clearly explained that al-Bukhaaree was of the same view as Imaam Ahmad and that in their refutations they were simply addressing two different types of people - and al-Bukhaaree is free and innocent of the saying that the Qur'an is created. So it is unlikely this is what is meant by Ibn Hajr. And the Lafdhiyyah believed the Qur'an that we have with us to be created, on the basis that they rejected Allaah has actions tied to His will and power. Thus, their attempt to use the saying, "My recitation of the Qur'an is created" as a stepping stone to their saying that the Qur'an we have with us is merely a created quotation (hikaayah) of Allaah's Kalaam and not Allaah's Kalaam itself. And al-Bukhaaree was free and innocent of this and Ibn Hajr is clearly not of this opinion regarding al-Bukhaaree.

  • That al-Bukhaaree brought things through the route of the Kullaabiyyah in which the Kullaabiyyah were in agreement with Ahl us-Sunnah in the affairs of creed - and it is already known that the Kullaabiyyyah, with the exception of the Sifaat Fi'liyyah (actions tied to Allaah's will), were in agreement with much of the creed of Ahl us-Sunnah. And if this is the case, then there is nothing for the deluded victim in the saying of Ibn Hajr that allows him to argue for the generality of the Asha'rite creed and it is known - as occurs in al-Ash'ari's "al-Maqaalaat" - that Ibn Kullaab spoke with "most (akthar)" of what Ahl us-Sunnah spoke with (see this article).

Irrespective of whatever the case might be, our deluded victim thought he could use this statement of Ibn Hajr to try and defend that pseudo-creed of the Kullaabiyyah Ash'ariyyah which rejects the Sifaat Fi'liyyah, and it is just another case of grabbing onto anything vague and ambiguous to try and defend that innovated creed that is based upon the protection and sanctification of that intellectual proof called "hudooth ul-ajsaam" which they made to be the very foundation of the religion itself.

Exposing the Psychological (Mental) Illness That is Displayed in Situations Like These

It is worthy to finish on the point that was the real intent behind this case diagnosis - which is to get deep into the mind of these types of victims and highlight the psychological illness (or call it madness) that lies beneath what is apparent on the outside.

This is explained as follows:

First, taking note that all of today's Ash'aris are the Jahmite Ash'aris who are in reality upon the creed of the Mu'tazilah and Jahmiyyah with regards to:

  • Rejecting the sifaat Dhaatiyyah such as Face, Hands, Eyes - the very same attributes that the Kullaabiyyah and early Ash'ariyyah accepted without ta'weel and tafweed and in addition refuted the charges of Tajseem made against them by the Mu'tazilah and Jahmiyyah!

  • Rejecting that Allaah is above His Throne with His Essence - which the Kullaabiyyah and early Ash'ariyyah affirmed and accepted.

  • Rejecting some of the attributes they claim to affirm, such as speech (Kalaam), hearing (sam'), seeing (basr) by explaining them in a way that amounts to their non-existence - such as explaining Kalaam to mean "Kalaam Nafsee", and hearing and seeing to be synonymous with "knowledge". They took these positions because these attributes of Allaah are such that they must relate to the creation in a manner that would imply that Allaah's speech, hearing and seeing are occurrences (hawaadith). Allaah can only hear what is heard in the creation, and he can only see what is seen in the creation, and so Allaah's instances of hearing and seeing must be events (hawaadith), and likewise for Allaah's instances of speech. Thus, they essentially ended up making ta'weel of these attributes too, or explaining them in a manner to get around this problem.

Now bearing the above facts in mind, lets illustrate the psychological illness:

At the one and the same time these deluded, mentally ill, contemporary Ash'aris will argue:

  • That Allaah is not above His Throne, rather He is "neither within the creation nor outside of it" - a saying they took from the Jahmiyyah, Mu'tazilah and Philosophers such as Ibn Sina (d. 429H) - see here. And that affirming Allaah has a Face, Hands and Eyes is tantamount to tashbeeh and Tajseem. And they will wage a war against Ahl us-Sunnah on these issues and accuse them with vile accusations and label them with vile labels - all of which they are free of walhamdulillaah.

  • And alongside the above they will argue - [in situations like these where the issue of Ibn Kullaab and the Kullaabiyyah is raised and it is thrown in their faces that al-Ash'ari simply adopted the creed of Ibn Kullaab] - that Ibn Kullaab was from Ahl us-Sunnah - and their aim here is to defend their later (Jahmite) Ash'arite creed by implying that what al-Ash'ari took from Ibn Kullaab is the exact same thing as what today's [Jahmites] Ash'aris are upon and this is a lie and a fraud - rather the creed of the Kullaabi Early Ash'aris is not the same as the later Jahmite Ash'aris. However, in doing this (trying to defend Ibn Kullaab after it is exposed that he is the true and real author of the early Ash'ari madhhab), they create a huge problem for themselves and expose their hypocrisy in broad daylight.

Now, you need to think carefully here and recall certain facts that will allow you to see the nature of this psychological illness (or madness) that today's Jahmite Ash'aris suffer from (may Allaah cure them with a complete cure).

Ibn Kullaab and the Kullaab indeed refuted the Mu'tazilah and the Jahmiyyah, especially on the issue of Allaah being above the Throne. This is what the Early Ash'aris were also upon, as we have clearly corroborated in many articles previously - (see here for all the details).

Likewise Ibn Kullaab and the Kullaabiyyah indeed refuted the Mu'tazilah and the Jahmiyyah for rejecting the sifaat dhaatiyyah, such as Face, Hands, Eyes - and we see the Early Ash'aris following suit in that - see this article from al-Baqillani (d. 403H) as an example (go ahead read it) and you can see more articles here.

So it is from the severest of mental sickness and psychological illness that you wage a war against Ahl us-Sunnah on the issues of Allaah's uluww (Allah being above the Throne, above the heavens) and the sifaat dhaatiyyah such as Face, Hands, Eyes - on the one hand - then, on the other, and at one and the same time, you portray Ibn Kullaab as being from the Imaams of the Sunnah in order to defend Abu al-Hasan al-Ash'aris adoption of the bulk of his creed. And since al-Ash'ari did take the bulk of the creed of the Kullaabiyyah, these Ash'aris are forced into the strategy of defending Ibn Kullaab. And in doing so, they have exposed what is with them, walillaahil-hamd - of misguidance and hypocrisy and of the psychological illness that allows the holding of two complete opposites together in the mind at the same time and considering both of them to be correct and compatible with each other.

So this particular victim who is the subject of this case study is coming from this angle, his quotation of this statement of Ibn Hajr al-Asqalani is directed towards this objective, and it highlights his mental illness - so either he says that the creed of Ibn Kullaab was the truth, and therefore adopt it (in which case he must affirm Allaah's uluww, with His Essence the sifaat dhaatiyyah such as Face, Hands, Eyes, without ta'weel and tafweed) - or say that creed of the Later Ash'aris is the truth and Ibn Kullaab and the Early Ash'aris were upon falsehood. You can't have it both ways - that's a mental illness.

Recommended Treatment and Remedy

Psychological disturbance in the mind is best treated with letting the facts sink in without resistance, replacing the old with the new, and letting them become concrete in the brain, through repetition, followed by plenty of contemplation. As a result, alternative brain connections are established allowing the creation of new thought patterns to replace the old ones that were the cause of the psychological ailment. This process will in turn gradually heal the mind and allow it to recognize the futility of trying to reconcile two (or more) incompatible streams of thought in the mind at one and the same time.

Therefore, we advise the victim with the following:

  • Read each and every single article in the following two series: "Regarding the Creed of Abu Bakr al-Baqillani on Allaah's uluww and the sifaat Dhaatiyyah" see article list here and "Ibn Kullaab: The True and Real Author of the Creed of the Early Ash'aris" see article list here. You need to read every article in these two series three times each, morning and evening for three weeks.

  • Take lessons in elementary logic to come to the realization that you can't hold two diametrically opposed streams of thought in the mind and consider them both to be the truth at one and the same time. This is amongst the best of what will treat the psychological illness. This must only be done after the first step above (which allows the facts to be established in the mind).

    To help the victim get started: If an object is black, it can't at the same time be white, and if an object is cold, it can't at the same time be hot and so on, because these things are diametrically opposed to each other. Following on from all of this, if the creed of Ibn Kullaab is the truth and he was from Ahl us-Sunnah - and he affirmed Allaah is above the Throne, with His Essence and affirmed the attributes of Face, Hands, Eyes, without ta'weel and tafweed and refuted the charges of Tajseem made by the Jahmiyyah and Mu'tazilah, and the Early Ash'aris were upon this creed also - then the Jahmite beliefs you are upon today (despite calling yourself an Ash'ari) must clearly be falsehood and you can't be from the people of the Sunnah in that case. So a few primers on elementary logic would help to complete the healing process inshaa'Allaah.

We ask Allaah to heal this victim and his likes from the great (intellectual) crime that has been perpetrated against him and his likes as a result of which they display delusions of mind and manifestations of mental illnesses that they themselves do not notice. Ameen.